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How Floating Licenses Work

Thursday, November 21st, 2013

License Server Technology

Our floating licenses use a license server we wrote ourselves. It is not based upon FlexLM or any other 3rd-party application.

All computers using the floating license include an AutoCAD support path that has the license server database located in it. The database is a Microsoft Jet database, the same database we use for the DM project files.

AutoCAD and Design Master Loaded, but Design Master Not Being Used

When a user opens AutoCAD, Design Master is loaded, but we don’t count that as an active Design Master┬álicense at that point.

Checking Out a Design Master License

When a user runs a command, we connect to the license server database and mark them as an active user. They then have a license checked out for 10 minutes. We don’t recheck the license in that 10 minute period. If they don’t use a command after 10 minutes, it reverts to not being in use. If they do, we check out the license again.

Exceeding Your License Count

When the maximum number of people have a license checked out and someone else tries a Design Master command, they get a dialog telling them that they are over their license count. They can choose to ignore the license overage and continue working, or they can stop and wait for someone else to stop using Design Master.

If they continue working, the license overage is recorded in the license server database. After 10 minutes, we check again the license count again. If the number of users is below the maximum, you won’t get a warning. If you are still above the maximum, you will get another warning message. Based upon how the timing works for licenses, the warning will probably bounce around between various people in the office.

If they stop, another user can use the DM->Utilities->Check-In Floating License to release the license they are no longer using. Then the other user can continue working. This allows the other user to immediately start working without having the license overage recorded in the database.

The idea is to fail to a mode that lets you get work done. This way, if there is an error in our licensing software, you are not prevented from getting work done until you can contact us to get it fixed. Also, if you really need an extra person to use the software to get the project out the door, you can do that, and we can take care of adding more licenses for you later on.

Laptops and Home Computers

Floaing licenses allows users to install DM on their laptop or a home computer as long as it is not their main production computer. We don’t do anything with checking out licenses.

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